Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Susan L. Dykstra Nursery, Hastings, Fla: Datil Pepper Preserves & More

Switzerland, Fla.—Susan L. Dykstra Nursery sells edible plants and Datil peppers. Owner, Susan Dykstra has been growing plants in Florida for over 40 years. “I’m a big edible landscape person. It either feeds me or pollinates something,” Dykstra says, during a recent St. John’s Farmers Market day. 
Susan Dykstra at St. John's Farmers Market, Switzerland, Fla.
This Miami, Fla., born and raised, Slow Food First Coast member really enjoys her business, “I grow food for myself even though there is no money in it.” She speaks Spanish fluently. Her mother’s side of the family came to Florida from Cuba when Batista took over.

She is very knowledgeable about edible plants. “Porter weed flowers are edible,” she says to a customer. But she sells more than plants, she also sells jams, jellies, and fruit butters.
Dykstra tells me Datil pepper (as hot as habaneros) comes in three color stages with corresponding spiciness, "Green is mild, yellow is medium, and orange is hot," She only uses green Datil peppers in her canned products like a peach and Datil jam. "People say, 'Where's the regular peach jam?' And I say,'Anyone can make peach jam,'" she says with a smile.
Some of the flavor combinations are lime marmalade, Meyers lemon jelly, Agave plum butter, and no-sugar apple butter. She tries to use local and regionally sourced ingredients whenever she can.
You can find Susan's Nursery products at the Wednesday night St. Augustine Pier Market, and the Nocatee Market on the third Saturday of every month. For more details you can call Susan Dykstra at 386-328-0588.

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